Arts & Life
Canstar Community News
Brandon City Council will be given a presentation on why a local thinks Rosser Avenue should get a name change at Monday’s meeting.
A detailed but brief background document attached to the agenda for Monday’s meeting by presenter John Simpson goes into detail as to why he thinks the Confederate major-general should not have his name on one of Brandon’s major streets.
While Rosser played a part in the creation of Brandon through his work with the Canadian Pacific Railway, Simpson wrote that he found in his research that the soldier not only fought on the side of the pro-slavery side of the American Civil War, but his family was recorded as having thirteen slaves on their Texas farm in the 1850 census.
It’s also pointed out in the document that Rosser was fired from the railway for colluding with land speculators to profit off of land sales during the construction of the railway, leading to an incident where he challenged his former boss to a duel outside of a Winnipeg hotel in 1882.
The document also provides several potential alternative people for the street should it be renamed such as Tommy Captain, Doris Pratt (after the beloved Sioux Valley elder who died last year), Billy Beals(after the first Black resident of Swan River who helped create the Big Woody School District), Tommy Prince (after the Indigenous war hero from Brokenhead Ojibwe Nation) and Viola Desmond (after the Black Nova Scotian civil rights activist).
An online petition in favour of renaming the street fell short of its goal earlier this year, only collecting 308 of out the 500 signatures it was looking for.
Also at Monday’s meeting, updates will be provided by members of the city’s age-friendly and poverty committees.
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